Accessibility, Diversity, Unity
As a Christ-centered community we are called to celebrate and promote academic and cultural diversity at AACS. Our calling is embedded in the foundational beliefs of our school. Our commitment to creating a learning environment based on those foundational beliefs, where all of our students have the opportunity to thrive is outlined in our strategic plan.
Putting words into action -- Our pursuit of accessibility, diversity, and unity is at the heart of our Kingdom Unity Council. In collaboration with the Superintendent and the Cabinet, Kingdom Unity evaluates and implements strategies, programs, initiatives, and training designed to develop and nurture a K-12 community and campus culture that embraces diversity and reflects what Jesus said to His followers in Matthew 22:37-40.
We promote unity through diverse, equitable, and inclusive kingdom-building educational practices. As Christian educators, it is important that what we do is not only rooted in the Word of God, but is also data-driven. The Kingdom Unity Council has outlined practices referred to as the 5'Cs (Christ, Culture, Curriculum, Connection, and Conversations) and carried out through Four Pathways - program and professional development and engaging our students and community to grow their understanding and celebration of a gloriously diverse community. These Pathways were developed with the research and work with the Anne Arundel Conflict Resolution Center, area demographics, and our internal community feedback survey. We encourage you to explore each Pathway and discover for yourself how God works through his followers, informing our words, behaviors, and actions.
The Culture of Diversity was filmed by our educational support staff showcasing student responses about each person's value as a child of God and what that looks like in our school community.
Professional Development Pathway
Working closely with our staff and faculty, we provide professional development, support continuing education course work, and direct ongoing training in accessibility and diversity. We strive to ensure the people we hire to be skilled in their field and understand our vision for supporting the good gift of diversity that God has so enriched us. We work with the Association of Christian School International (ACSI) to access resources with UnifiEd: A Center for Hope and Unity. Professional development days have included a program on understanding differences, part of our reliance on the Gospels to inform everything we do, say, and think in terms of our culture, age/ability, racial, ethnic, social differences – C.A.R.E.S. Faculty have also been trained on ‘how to have conversation – the 6 elements of effective communication’ and restorative practices.
Program Development Pathway
Our team strives to implement programs that foster healthy conversations among our students, faculty, and staff. How we converse, how we make assessments, how we explore subjects, and how we identify benchmark metrics is critical to the growth of our students and our school. To strengthen and expand our effectiveness in meeting all students’ needs, we have devoted more resources to our educational support program. To support the wider student body, we have identified facilitators and liaisons at each campus to lead our students through programming options best suited for their grade-level. We have identified our STEM initiative as a focal point for continued program development.
Student Engagement Pathway
The student group C.A.R.E.S. gives the school a structured venue to express our reliance on the Gospels to inform everything we do, say, and think in terms of our culture, age/ability, racial, ethnic, social differences. In the C.A.R.E.S. Council Roundtable, students learn how to engage in healthy conversations, grow in their understanding of the value and dignity of every person, and know the wisdom and beauty of God's design for humanity. Our upcoming participation in Next Generation: Conversations on Race will help us continue to explore how to expand our conversation with those that have a different opinion. Student groups such as the Onyx Club, give our students’ opportunities to expand their knowledge of and respect for others. Educating the whole child is one of the school’s five educational goals.
Community Engagement Pathway
Through our collaboration with other schools and associations we have a tremendous number of resources to help us in our efforts toward accessibility, diversity, and unity. We strive to share these valuable resources with our community so that families from all backgrounds are welcomed, valued, affirmed, and equipped to succeed at AACS. We encourage you to view One Cure for Racism by D.H. Horton. "He addresses the reality of racism, the cure for racism, and biblical practices the church can employ to promote healing and unity among all ethnicities." —from RightNow Media's introduction
Kingdom Unity Council
To begin to fulfill our strategic planning goal to unify and enhance our mission-focused Christ-centered culture and community, The Kingdom Unity Council guides the school in its efforts to live within the unity of Christ. The Council is made up of parents, school leaders, and administrators.
AACS community members live out Matthew 22:37-40 in their interactions with one another and with the broader community.
AACS community members experience oneness in Christ; all students feel welcomed, included, and respected.
The AACS curriculum serves learners of diverse backgrounds, presents an inclusive historical perspective, and reflects the diversity of God’s world.
AACS community members have meaningful, cross-cultural relationships with one another, according to Proverbs 27:17
AACS community members communicate in a Christ-like and effective way across racial, ethnic and cultural groups, seeking to better understand one another’s experiences.